The Russell Executive Suites refurbishment was approved in 2020 and the project was awarded to Duratec in 2021. Currently at the halfway mark, the works are adding both value and vitality to this important Defence asset.

Located in Canberra, the Russell Offices serve as the administrative headquarters of the Australian Defence Force, which incorporates the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Army. It goes without saying that security at Russell is of supreme importance, and Duratec kept this front-of-mind when tendering for and ultimately securing the contract for the refurbishment of the Russell Executive Suites.

Duratec was engaged by the Department of Defence, via project delivery services contractor, Augility, to refurbish six areas within the Russell precinct. Since then, however, the scope has expanded to include nine areas.

Purpose of the works

In modifying the existing building arrangements, the Department of Defence was looking to:

  • Meet current user requirements
  • Update ageing infrastructure
  • Achieve compliance with all relevant industry and Defence codes, standards and policies
  • Accommodate departmental changes
  • Ensure adherence to the Defence Office Accommodation Guidelines and the Defence Accommodation Principles

Scope of works

The scope of works for the Russell refurbishment was reasonably broad. Each of the nine areas has its own particular characteristics so it has almost been like undertaking nine different projects in one.

The following renovations were to be carried out:

Across most spaces

  • Demolition of selected walls, doors and partitions

Entry spaces and reception areas

  • Removal of existing workstations and joinery, and replacement with new work points
  • Removal of existing furniture and replacement with sofa, coffee table, display shelving, coat storage and booth seating for informal meetings

Open-plan workspaces

  • Removal of existing workstations and furniture, and replacement with sit-to-stand workstations, ergonomic task chairs and standing-height tables
  • Removal of existing joinery and replacement with new shelves and storage cupboards
  • Provision of printers, LCD and AV screens, magnetic whiteboards and pinboards
  • Installation of personal lockers for staff
  • Establishment of utility area with printers, a shredder, coat storage and AV screen
  • Establishment of processing area with fixed-height workbench, task chairs and layout bench

Executive offices

  • Provision of sit-to-stand desks, ergonomic task chairs, visitor chairs, meeting tables, shelving, a storage credenza, coat storage and AV screen

Drop-in centre

  • Provision of visitor chairs, open shelving, coat storage and an AV screen


  • Removal of existing flooring, joinery and appliances, and replacement with new specified floor finishes, joinery and equipment
  • Replacement of chairs and meeting tables with new specified furnishings

Quiet room

  • Provision of standing-height furniture